Councillors are normally elected for four year terms, and play a very important role in the running of the Council. As well as setting policy and overseeing the work of officers they also:
- provide community leadership to the district
- engage with local communities
- act as ambassadors for the Council
- represent the community
- act as advocates
Some Councillors are also appointed to represent the council on outside organisations such as local partnerships or charities and public bodies.
Most Councillors are members of political parties and stand for election as party candidates. The parties form voting groups in the Council.
The district is split into 21 Wards, each with three Councillors, with one third being elected three years in four.
Following results from the 2019 district elections the make-up of the Council (63 seats) is:
Labour 49 seats
Conservatives 11 seats
- Liberal Democrats 1 seat
- Independent 2 seats
The main duty of a Councillor is to represent the community's needs which may include attending Council and Committee meetings, holding surgeries to help constituents, campaigning on local issues or developing links with their communities. Councillors are not paid a salary but they are entitled to allowances and expenses to cover some of the costs of undertaking their public duties.
All Councillors should abide by the Council's Code of Conduct which sets out the standards of behaviour expected of them. This includes registering their financial and other interests in accordance with the Localism Act 2011.